HARTFORD, Conn. – A convicted killer who fled Connecticut two decades ago and set up a new life in Mexico with a wife, two children and computer business is returning to his home state Wednesday to finally face his 60-year prison sentence.
U.S. marshals and West Hartford police detectives were to bring 48-year-old Adam Zachs back to Connecticut late Wednesday night, West Hartford Police Chief James Strillacci said. Zachs will be detained overnight and appear in Hartford Superior Court on Thursday morning before being sent to prison, presumably for the rest of his life.
"His return to Connecticut will bring a sense of satisfaction that justice, though delayed, will still be done," Strillacci said.
Authorities acting on a tip captured Zachs in February at his home in Leon Guanajuato, Mexico, about a five-hour drive northwest of Mexico City, as he was leaving to go to work. Authorities said he was living under the alias Ruben Fridman.
The West Hartford native fled the state in 1989 after being convicted and sentenced for the shooting death of 29-year-old Peter Carone outside the Prospect Café in West Hartford in 1987. Police said Zachs was upset at a joke Carone made at the restaurant's bar and shot him in the back.
Although Zachs was convicted and sentenced, state law at the time allowed him to post bail while his appeal was pending. He posted the $250,000 appeal bond and later disappeared.
This month, Zachs' 78-year-old father, Frederick Zachs, pleaded guilty in federal court to helping his son flee the country and sending him money over the years. Frederick Zachs is set to be sentenced to up to five years in prison in August for harboring a fugitive.
Frederick Zachs told authorities that he arranged for his son to be driven to New York to catch a flight to Mexico in June 1989. The elder Zachs admitted that he sent money to his son over the years through others and stayed in touch with him using an intermediary in Brooklyn, N.Y., to send and receive letters. He also said he used prepaid phone cards to call his son from pay phones in Arizona and New Jersey from 2002 to 2005.
Adam Zachs' case was featured several times on the Fox TV show "America's Most Wanted," which reported that police in the early 1990s learned that Zachs was living in New Mexico with a woman who worked for Frederick Zachs' company. The woman told police that she and Zachs had lived together for a year and a half when one day he gave her money for a plane ticket and disappeared.